I’m fascinated by this graph (Click to enlarge / credit: Duncan Alexander’s Twitter), which reveals how Stoke City have not once in their history had a positive goal difference. In 1888, they lost their first league game, 2-0 at home against West Brom. A week later they were spanked 5-1 by Aston Villa.
A -6 GD after two matches is no way to start out. It set the tone. And it’s been downhill ever since. Indeed, when fans think of Stoke today, most would not think of Stanley Matthews or even Tony Pulis; they would think of the Messi meme: Can he do it on a wet, windy Tuesday night in Stoke? It’s something – a lot of clubs aren’t greatly known for anything.
This is a great stat as it speaks to one philosophical truth about football: most clubs don’t succeed, therefore for most fans football is suffering. Supporting a club like Stoke – and there are lots of clubs like Stoke around the world – is the slow death of hope. Have a great day.